A retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd.
For decades defenders of the Confederacy have argued that the secession of the South had little to nothing to do with slavery. It was all about protecting a way of life, a history, a culture, the purity of Southern ladies, or the political idea of states versus national rights.
It is generally claimed that the beginning of the American Civil War began with the bombardment of the Union Fort Sumner in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. This occurred on April 12, 1861, but the succession of Southern states from the United States began when South Carolina seceded in December of 1860. When the war began depends on which action you choose.
Donald Trump and those he brought to his White House are possibly the most historically ignorant group of people ever assembled. There have been many events the Trumps have announced but later were informed their date conflicted with some historical event and that going ahead could harm their campaign. Just this week Trump announced he was jumpstarting his campaign with a rally in Tulsa, OK on June 19. Then he rescheduled the GOP’s national convention for Jacksonville, Fl in late August.
Rachel Maddow did a segment about a twenty-two-year-old woman who thought the definition of racism should be broadened to include references to the concept of systemic. The woman approached Merriman-Webster about altering its definition and to her amazement the publisher agreed and will be revising the definition of racism as well as that of several other words germane to the subject of race.
I haven’t been living in a cave so I’m very aware of what’s been going on in the world of defunding the police. I also know that what it means has not been clearly defined yet but, in general, it doesn’t mean a world without badges, nightsticks, and Glocks.
Nevertheless, whatever it ultimately means will be controversial and will require lots of discussions and serious thought, along with some people finding themselves without a career.
One thing needed is to finally reach an agreement to the reality that racism is both a systemic and institutional part of America’s police forces.
I laid down for a short nap this afternoon and when I awoke the news was on my TV and they were reporting a bit about National Guard units being removed from WDC. The report included a tweet from Trump claiming that he had ordered the action because “everything was under perfect control.”
I got a brief chuckle from it because it reminded me of Iraq’s famous Minister in Information, Baghdad Bob, who insisted his nation had
You know it’s been charged that Donald Trump took to refuge in a secret bunker deep beneath the WH when the protestors in Franklin Park got too close. While we don’t really know if that happened we do now that it took a sizable miliartyesque force and a serious threat to unleash the 82nd Airborne onto we the people to clear the
The first time I saw the White House was probably in the late 1950s or early 60s and I would have been in the Navy. I don’t remember if the White House grounds were enclosed by a fence but if so, it would have been relatively weak and low. In the 1970s we took some kids to DC for a field trip and I remember being able to drive within a couple of hundred feet of the WH front door on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There was a fence around the ground but it was only one layer deep and visitors could get right up to it. Over the years I have been to DC a number of times and each time the security around all government buildings becomes more reinforced.
When I retired in 1996 I spent a couple of days in the city with a cousin of mine who has lived there for decades. While she conducted some business downtown I got a cup of coffee and sat in Lafayette Park, across from the WH, and watched the world go by. By that time the street had been closed to traffic and large concrete barriers were erected at each end of the block. At noon workers from various offices came out, put on their blade skates, and played a lunchtime game of hockey.
A week or so ago a new feathered creature showed up at our suet feeders. My wife first noticed it by its song, one we had not heard before. Finally, she tracked it down and we identified it at the feeder. Our conclusion was that it was a red-headed house finch but we’ve since decided that may not be correct.
We didn’t have a good photo of the bird so on two occasions this week I sat on the deck with my best lens and found a very different creature than what we first thought was paying us a visit. This one has far more colors and is truly a bird we’ve never seen before. After lots of digging in our library of bird books, the closest thing we can find is labeled an immature summer tanager, which is a migratory species and more commonly found in South Florida and the tropics.
It should be no secret to any of you who’ve known me long that I am an atheist. I don’t believe in a God for many reasons but none of them involve ignorance or lack of trying to understand and come to acquire faith.
I was raised a Catholic but never felt like it fit my nature. I’ve never had faith and I’ve never experienced anything of a religious or spiritual nature while sitting in a church.
I’ve also never seriously made fun of or condemned anyone of genuine and moderate faith. On the other hand, I have little use for religious extremists and hypocrites. I’ve read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Morman, and I studied both comparative religions and the history of religions. I cannot quote very much from the Bible but I can tell you a lot about the history of it. While I don’t accept the Bible as being anything but manmade I have found things in it that have been important to me and I hope have made me a better man.
For decades I have believed that if every person simply adopted but one of the commandments and vowed to never break that one, the world would be immeasurably better. I’ve also been told by a Christian zealot that my saying and believing that would get me an express ticket on Hell’s railway.
I’m saying all of this to give myself the creds to say that what Donald Trump did in front of that Episcopal church last night while waving the Bible above his head was very offensive to me. Offensive because he knows so little about it and he makes claims about his religion that are not true. He proves himself to be guilty of violating the greatest commandment of all, thou shall not commit hypocrisy.
Oh yeah, lest we forget that rule that goes, thou shall treat others as thou would want to be treated. There’s just something golden in that phrase.
It’s been difficult for me to watch very much of the protest video because it is both disturbing and it reminds me of how little we’ve improved since the days of Bull Connor in the early 1960s. My friend and colleague, Susan Long recently remarked how she thought we’d moved further away from those days.
Dave Shoemaker ran a survey on his Shoe:Untied blog, asking who had the best pizza in the Chillicothe area. Out of 2,500 responses, Fredneck’s of Nipgen came out the winner.
I had never heard of it so today, in need of a drive, I took the long way to Nipgen, through downtown Knockemstiff, and brought home a medium pepperoni for supper.
Here’s my take. First, it looks a lot like Donato’s pepperoni pizza. Second, it looks a lot like Big City’s pepperoni pizza. Third, it was worth the scenic drive but I don’t think I’d make the drive again just for the pizza.
I still remember my son’s response to someone who asked who had the best pizza in Greenfield. He said, “Donato’s in Court House!” But, that was before Jerry’s came to town.
I sat here for about an hour trying to put my thoughts about Minneapolis together into a blog. Then I took a break and checked my YouTube feed where I found a new video from Trae Crowder that says it so much better, and with far more dirty words than I could say.